Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Old Bike

Well today was an interesting ride as I took out the mountain bike that I used to ride as a teenager. My new bike has a flat and was taken back home. I did 40 minutes of riding along Kelly Drive.

I thought my dad had raised the seat before giving it too me. He didn't though and the seat was too low and uncomfortable. I managed to get through it, but it does make me appreciate my current bike.

I got on course late because I was really tired and sore after yesterday's hard run. Eventually I made it out of bed and started riding around 10 AM. Luckily, it wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze much like yesterday.

Early on, my leg was a little sore. Once I got into a groove and steady pace, the problem went away. I didn't push too hard, but I still received a decent workout. Changing gears with that bike is tough. It doesn't catch very well, so I just tried to stick to one gear.

The seat was very uncomfortable as well. I ended riding to about where Route 1 runs overhead. On the way back, I was significantly slower than when going out, so I stopped riding at the beginning of boathouse row. I was so uncomfortable that I decided to walk most of the way home. It was a decent workout, but far from ideal. I definitely have to adjust the seat for my next ride.

Tomorrow will be a short 2 mile run. I'll probably run the Schuykill Banks loop. I was planning on some camping at races this week, but it looks like a lot of ran again. I might have to skip out on that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pushing the Tempo

Today was an excellent run. The plan was to run 3 miles and I did right around that. I actually ran for 27 minutes to be more precise. I ran from the Art Museum up through Lemon Hill and then out past the Girard Avenue Bridge. I continued until my watch hit the 21 minute mark and then I turned around and headed for home.

Adding the short, but steep Lemon Hill route early on made it tough and forced me to push myself harder in the end. I need to find a better way back from Lemon Hill. Crossing Kelly Drive at the bottom of the hill is tricky with a lot of fairly high speed traffic. I'm not sure yet if it's better to add this part of my run early on or towards the end of the run.

The hill did take a lot out of me, but once I got back on the flat surface, I got into a nice groove. I put forth a lot of effort. At the turnaround point I was struggling and slowing down. I developed some side stitches. I battled on though.

I concentrated on relaxing throughout the run and continued to work on keeping long strides. It made for a fast pace and caused the running to be difficult. Too often, though I've been taking things easy and not pushing myself enough during training. I can't afford to run at this hard of a pace all the time, but I need to push myself closer to my limits more often.

Tomorrow will be a 40 minute cross training exercise. I'll get back to riding my bike. My tire is still flat so I took my old mountain bike from the parents house and swapped it with my regular bike. That could make for some interesting riding with a lesser bike. The rest of the week, I might be camping at some races, so we'll see how my schedule works out. I'm very happy with the way things are going thus and still looking forward to my day to day training. Today was very productive and I hope that continues.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Running in Richmond (Over the weekend)

This weekend involved two runs while I was camping at Richmond International Raceway. Since it's a NASCAR track, they have tons of parking. I ended up running around all the lots during both runs. On Thursday evening, I ran for 30 minutes and followed that up with a 40 minute run on Saturday.

We arrived on Thursday around 4 PM. I ran shortly after that at around 6 PM. I was really curious how well I'd run. After I did an easy jog on Tuesday, I drove to DC and watched 5 hours of basketball. The jog seems to stress my legs more than running at normal pace. Add to that the fact that I sat stiff for hours afterwards and it made for a tough situation. I got out at a rest stop and could barely walk. I stretched and massaged my legs and felt much better on Wednesday.

I still wasn't sure how I'd feel when I got back to running though. Not only the issues from the other day were of concern, but I developed a headache and also knew I wasn't that well hydrated. I felt pretty strong early on during Thursday's session once I got into a groove. It was quite hot at 6 PM and that really wore me out in the 2nd half.

I was running back behind the track and I found the race drivers' motorhomes. Two guys came out of there and I followed them for awhile. I was catching them, but then they went down into the infield past security. I decided not to do that. I'm pretty sure one of them was Tomas Scheckter though. His dad was a Formula One World Champion. That would've been pretty cool if I did catch up and pass him.

The back half of that run was tough. I ran on a lot of different surfaces. There was pavement, gravel with big stones, light gravel and grass. They all presented different problems. I nearly twisted my ankle running through the steep grass.

The heat is what really got to me though. On the way out, I ran as far around the outside parking lot as I could. On the way back, I ran next to the track to catch some shade. That was a much shorter route. I was dieing around the 22 minute mark. I decided to keep running and made my goal to run to the 30 minute mark.

It wasn't easy, but I managed to get that far. It actually worked perfectly as I got to the campground just after the 30 minute mark. It was a nice start to my 10K training and certainly was a different route too.

I ran 40 minutes around the outside of the parking lots on Saturday morning. I didn't feel good and thought it would be a tough run, but it actually didn't turn out too bad. It was still a little hot, but definitely much cooler than my first run at the track. This time I was able to run around outside both on the way out and back. The different surfaces bothered me, even during the first half of the 40 minute run. They never got too out of control though.

I was really worn down in the 2nd half of the run. I'm in pretty good shape to run 3 or 4 miles, but beyond that I merely just finish. I might've considered the end a junk mile or so, except for the fact that I mentally challenged myself to finish. Sometimes it's good to just do that when you don't want to. I've listened to my body a lot more lately than I used to, but it's a fine line. You don't want become mentally weak and just quit every time you encounter an uncomfortable run.

I had to run some extra loops to get to the allotted 40 minutes. When I took a sharp turn at one point, my knee bothered me for a brief period. Even though it was a little sort today, it's still getting better and better each day. I'm definitely getting stronger and keep my muscles loose.
All in all, it was a nice weekend with some good distance runs. The heat was a bit of a problem and it will continue to be once we start getting some normal summer weather. I'm very happy with my progress now and I'm on my way to first running a 10K and then onto conquering the marathon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well today was supposed to be an off day, but I decided to start training for the NJMP 10K. I mapped out my marathon training schedule and realized it won't start until the end of July. Therefore, I figured I'd train for the 10K first. I made today's route an easy 20 minute jog. I used the Schuykill Banks loop.

Everything started out perfectly. There was a guy right in front of me going at a very slow pace. I let him lead and just followed his slow pace for the first quarter of the run. It was nice and easy. Later on, the guy increased his pace and then ran up the stairs.

While I wasn't working hard at this slow pace, it was a little tough on my leg than a normal run. I'm not sure if it's the different angle of impact of my feet with the ground or more steps being taken or a combination of both. The leg was a little sore, but still wasn't too bad.

The second I continued on the slow, easy pace. I decided to at least push myself for the final two and a half minutes. I finished hard uphill by increasing my stride. That must've pissed off the guy that I had just passed.

I felt like I was running about the pace that I started out at two months ago. That just shows how much progress I made. I pass people all the time that seem physically fit, but are running a slow pace about what I ran today. I really don't know how they can run that slow. I guess I've just always been trained to run fast.

It was good to get a rough schedule for the 10K and marathon training mapped out. One thing that's really surprising is the lack of miles even in the marathon. I always assumed that to run a marathon, you'd have to do a couple 10 mile runs a week. I guess elite athletes do that and hopefully in a few marathons down the road, I'll join that club. The novice schedule has a few tough weeks, but having a lot more shorter days in between long days will be a big help.

I've been thinking lately about what I'm going to do for a career. I've been seriously considering applying for a job at a running store. I think I'm going to do that in July. I also think I'd really like to get into coaching. Obviously I still have a lot to do learn in that aspect too. I found a volunteer program that allows you to coach kids. I might sign up for that. I figure with some experience in running and some good race results, I could have a chance of landing a HS assistant position at some point.

I'm either going to run alone tomorrow morning or take on the race with Bill and Karen tomorrow. It should be another pretty easy day though. I'm so full of energy now and I just need to stay patient. I think having a set training program will be a big help. I often felt stale in the past and I assume it was mainly because I didn't really know what I was doing when it came to training. I wasn't training properly back then and still put up some good results.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Listening to My Body

I said it before, but listening to my body has been the best thing I've done thus far in training. It still might not keep me injury free as I go through marathon training, but it'll give me a better chance of staying healthy.

Originally, I planned to give myself two days off after the 5K. However, I didn't push myself as much as I should've during the race and my legs weren't sore at all on Sunday. Therefore, I decided to stay at my parents house and run from there this morning.

I ran the somewhat hilly 4 mile route that I used to routinely do through the neighborhoods across the street. I didn't plan to go very hard. I surprised myself about a month ago when I ran this course with relative ease, so I didn't think running it again would be too difficult. I didn't anticipate the warm and humid weather at 10 AM either though. It wasn't any worse than it should be for this time of year, but it's been so cool and rainy recently that it was tough to adjust.

I went out at a nice rate and felt pretty good early on. It was clear that the heat would make the run tough. I tried to take it easy and run at comfortable pace over the hills. The last long hill really came up and bit me though. It wore me down a lot and my knee starting bothering me a little. After making it to the top, my knee felt better but I was exhausted.

After that it was relatively flat or downhill for about the next mile. I looked at my watch and had been running for 18 minutes. It's actually good that I'm starting to use my watch because that allowed me to push myself for a few more minutes. I knew I wouldn't finish the run, so I decided to increase my stride until my watch hit the 25 minute mark.

It was tough and seemed like forever. I finally hit that elapsed time just after another hill. That made for a good finish. I probably ran close to 3.25 miles. I could've forced the issue and finished the route, but it really would've just been a "junk" mile at the end. I need to make sure my runs are quality runs on most days I go out. I didn't go as far as I wanted, but was still able to push myself.

My dad took some pictures of me racing. I looked angry in everyone of them. I partly was because the run didn't go as planned, but regardless I need to work on relaxing. My track coach used to always yell at me to relax while running. I concentrated on doing that during this training run today. Hopefully, I can start carrying it over to races too.

I actually tried to do some striders in the grassy field at my old elementary school. I did mange two of them, but the grass was too long and the surface too rough. All the rain we've had is leading to some very high grass.

The next run will be Wednesday. I'll either run in the morning or the evening. Bill and Karen are running a race that evening. I was thinking I might run with Karen to help her finish well and give myself a somewhat easy training day. That's if I don't go to look at apartments that evening though. Thursday we'll be in Richmond for the Indy Car race. With nothing going on at the track, I'll look to take a short and easy run. I'll take Friday off and run long on Saturday morning (raceday).

I've been reading a marathon training book that I just bought. I already read over 200 pages in just 3 days. Pretty soon, I'm going to use the training program laid out in it to start planning my 18 week training period for the Philadelphia Marathon. They suggest that you use their novice program for anyone who is doing their first marathon. I'm tempted to use the program that is the next step up, but I don't want to overtrain so I guess I'll stay cautious. I really think I could qualify for Boston, but I guess I shouldn't shoot for that goal. It'll be obvious later in my training whether I have a legit shot at doing that or not and then maybe I can adjust.

I saw a few cool runs coming up in the summer. One is at my old elementary school behind my parents house. It's a 5K to support my HS track and cross country teams. I'm definitely going to run that, even if not competitively. Hopefully I'll catch up with my old coach and maybe some other runners from track too. There's also a 10K or 5K at New Jersey Motorsports Park in July. Maybe I'll see if I can get Bill and Karen to run it with me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wilson Partners in Education 5K

Well today was my first 5K in years. I ran the Wilson Partners in Education 5K. From my previous experience, I knew not to go out too fast. That's easier said than done though. The pace towards the front was really fast early on. There were a couple HS cross country girls ahead of me and they took off. I figured they went out too fast and would come back, but they never did. No one ever came back to me and that was really frustrating.

I tried to slow down and run my own race. That led me being passed by quite a few runners in the first half mile. Adding to the difficulty was that the first mile had several hills. They weren't steep, but long. I'm so used to flat surfaces that it was something I wasn't prepared for. They didn't look too bad when we drove the course last night, but they did beat me up pretty good during the race.

After I settled in, I was only passed by three people. One was a crazy kid who took first place in the 13 & under category. An older lady passed me later on and finally an old guy passed me in the back half. I wasn't able to pass anyone myself.

My time for the first mile was 7:15. It sounded like a pace I would've hope to run, but it was just too fast. I noticed last night as we drove the course, that after the 1.5 mile marker the road was under construction and it made for a rough surface. The plan was too attack after that. However, I went out too fast and didn't have the energy to push it. The other issue was that I really had no one to catch.

That was the most frustrating part of the race. I was too slow for the front pack, but too fast for the others. I basically ran the final 2 miles or more alone. That's not nearly as bad since I train alone so much, but it is always easier to run with a group. I was so far ahead of the next runner and too far behind the guy who passed me to push myself. I should've still run harder though.

I finished at 23:12. That's certainly nowhere near what I used to finish in, but I guess it's not bad considering the circumstances. In addition to running alone, the reality is that I've still only been running for 2 months and without any training partners (other than one speedwork session). It was also raining during the race (although I used to excel in the rain).

I really felt like this was a big waste. It was basically just a training run. I didn't get much out of it. It did give me an idea of where I'm at I guess and where I need to go, but it would've been nice if I had other runners to push me. I didn't test my limits at all. Although I didn't feel strong at the finish, I was exactly dead either.

I'm happy with my early speed, but I still need to improve towards the end of runs. I am wearing down more than I ever used to. I'm really looking forward to getting into some longer races as I work my way towards the marathon. It's hard to believe that I could say a 5K is too fast for me, but it really is. Even when I ran track and 5Ks in my younger days, I was rarely even remotely comfortable. I'm much more in my element at longer distances. I was much more suited for the marathon.

You can't just come back to running 9 years later and expect to run at the level you did before. Today really made me appreciate where I used to be when I ran under 20 minutes on most 5Ks. I don't feel like I trained that well back then, but obviously I was a lot better off than I am now. I dug myself a big hole by drinking and eating too much during my college years and beyond. I'm not buried yet though and eventually I'll get to where I want to. If nothing else, this should be good motivation. I want to be an elite runner and obviously it's going to be a longer road there. Maybe it's too late for that now, but I won't know unless I try to really push myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not Slowing Down

I'm just a few days away from running the 5-K and I really should be taking it easy. I wanted to do so today, but ended up working harder than expected. I didn't push myself really hard, but I worked to increase my stride and than ended up wearing me down. I did work on taking my breathing too.

Early on, I was following a women and going slow downhill. When it changed to a flatter elevation, she slowed down even more. I wanted to follow her, but just had to pass her.

I ended up increasing my stride. That might've been fine later in the second half of the run, but I shouldn't have done it that early. It really wore me down. Luckily I only ran from the Art Museum to the train bridge just past Girard Avenue. On the way back, I actually stopped at Lloyd Hall. I elected to skip the hill to the museum. I had swallowed a bug just before that too and it was really bothering me.

Even though I went too hard and wore myself out, I still should be fine for the race. I'm taking off Thursday and Friday from running before Saturday's race. I felt good early on today and should be well rested come Saturday. My biggest concern is if the weather is hot. Hopefully the heat will come later in the day if it does arrive. I'm also eager to find out the course. I might go on Friday evening to check it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taper Time

Today was an easy day as I taper for this weekend's 5-K. I ran the Schuykill Banks loop and did so at an easy pace. The weather was nice and cool and it was a relatively relaxing run after two days off.

I was surprised that I was a little sore when I first started out. That diminished quickly though. I tried to keep a slow pace and my knee actually started bothering me a little. I bought a watch last week and timed myself for the first time today. I ran the first half out in a 9:29 rate.

On the way back, I didn't push but I did increase my stride. That was a big help and I did the second half at 9:13. That's including the uphill finish. I ran that part slow too and actually found that it is as difficult or more difficult than when I really push it uphill.

Tomorrow will be an off day and Wednesday will be my last run before the race on Saturday. Wednesday will be another short and easy one. I'll probably just go to Girard Avenue and back. I should be well rested come Saturday. One thing that has me worried is the temperature is supposed to rise on Saturday. Hopefully it doesn't do so until the afternoon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Adding Lemon Hill

Today was actually an "easy day." I tried to run at a slower pace and didn't run very far. That said, mentally I actually find easy days to be harder sometimes. It feels like I'm going so slow and getting nowhere.

The run was an interesting one. I decided to try a new route and went up Lemon Hill. I had never actually ventured up there to run, just to watch the bike race. It's directly across from boathouse row and is actually a perfect little add on that I'll have to use more often.

It's short, but steep and curvy. I thought about doing the loop twice, but decided not to push it. Once up and down the hills got my legs working some. I'm definitely going to bring it into the beginning or end of my workouts now.

After going through Lemon Hill, I continued on Kelly Drive to the train bridge just past Girard Avenue before turning around. On the way back, I didn't want to deal with any hills so I only ran to Lloyd Hall. It was a nice short and slow run, but I still got some benefit out of it.

I bought a new running outfit yesterday and wanted to break it in before next week's race. I bought short shorts and a tank top similar to my old track uniform. It's funny how I used to hate the uniform so much, but now I'm buying something just like it. I did feel a little uncomfortable walking in it through the off campus student housing and ghetto like area around me. It didn't seem as bad as the shirt I wore on Monday, but I was still surprisingly soaked after the workout. Not sure if that was the result of the weather or the clothes.

I've actually been getting pretty lucky with the weather. This was the second time this week that I was able to run in the morning just after one set of showers had passed and before the second set began. It was partly sunny and actually surprisingly humid considering that rain had just come through. Hopefully the race next Saturday will have similar weather. I can certainly deal with those conditions.

The next two days are off days as I'll be going to NY. I thought about trying to run on Sunday, but I figure the extra rest can't hurt. I'm going to run easy, short routes on Monday and Wednesday and thus give myself two days off before the race on Saturday. I should be well rested for that one.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Off Track

Today was a rough track workout. My legs had nothing after two grueling days and I struggled to even finish the workout.

Bill and I ran six 400 meter repeats. For the first few, I was good for the first half of the lap, but then my legs just fell apart. I actually led Bill through the first two, but I knew I was slowing him up so I told him to take the lead on the last couple.

I've never had such a bad workout in my life. My legs were just totally gone. I wasn't even able to push myself hard at all from a cardio standpoint. After the first three laps, I went to the bathroom and ran better in the 4th and 5th laps. At the end of the 5th, I had a lot left and actually sprinted right up to Bill at the finish. Early on in the 6th and final one, I knew I had nothing, so I didn't bother to push it at all. I just ended up jogging around. I should've at least gave a little more effort.

I've become accustomed to soft all weather tracks. We ran on gravel and I think that bothered my legs some at faster speeds. We ran pretty early in the morning too, so I'm not sure that I had the energy needed for this workout. That said, those factors still weren't enough to make me crash as bad as I did. I really think I overworked myself the last few days.

It's ashame too because Bill ran a really nice pace and we should've been able to push each other really well. I just had nothing on this day. I ran better on my 2nd day of track practice ever (which was my 1st track workout). Hopefully I'll get out and run more with Bill in the future. He's built himself up to a nice level.

Tomorrow was planned as an off day and will continue so. I'd love to do a long run on Friday, but I think I really need to start tapering after today's poor performance. Friday will be easy as will next week's runs. Today was disappointing, but it's a good way to keep myself in check and not overdue things.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great 5K Prep

Yesterday was a big disappointment, but today's run was a huge success. I didn't realize that yesterday I had actually run 5 miles. That made me sore today and I figured on taking things easy.

I still did take it easy in terms of mileage, but I ran hard. I used the route from Lloyd Hall to the Schuykill Banks loop. This loop is a great addition to Fairmount Park. It's 2.8 miles in length, but also has a couple nice short hills.

I planned on relaxing and cruising after a tough day yesterday and a track workout coming up tomorrow. It didn't quite work out that way though. I felt pretty good early on. I then came across a runner up ahead that was running a perfect pace. He was slower than me, but not too slow. I didn't push too much more to catch him, but it's tough not to go harder.

I caught up and passed him and then pulled away from him. It took a few minutes, but it was good to pick up my pace a little. I didn't want to run so hard, but this turned out to be good prep for the upcoming 5K. It's the hardest I've run at a shorter distance to date.

When I woke up early in the morning, there was some loud thunder so I slept another hour before getting up to run. The storm was over quick, but it left everything cool and cloudy. That made for perfect weather to run well.

On the way back, I caught up to a couple slower runners. That was a big help in pushing myself too. The uphill portion at the end wasn't too difficult and the small hill under the Spring Garden Street Bridge isn't as steep as I thought it was.

Hopefully this hard run after yesterday's run doesn't bother me too much. I'll be running a 6 X 400 on the track with Bill early tomorrow morning. After that, I'll take Thursday off. Friday will probably another short run before taking Saturday and Sunday off. Next week, I will cut back and take it easy before the 5K on Saturday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Some Days You Don't Have It

Some days you just don't have it. That was definitely the case today. I planned a long run of 7 miles for today, but ending up running about 4 miles. It was only about 70 degrees at 9 AM, but the heat really got to me anyways.

I think it was the shirt that I wore that was the problem. It's a running shirt with holes in it that I thought were supposed to keep me cool. It seems like the material causes me to sweat much more than normal though. I was soaked and I had only run with minimal effort. They say not to try new things before a race and this was a good example. I don't think my body took well to the shirt and it would've been a disaster if this happened on a race day. I'm going to just stick with cotton T-shirts.

Early on, I felt really good. A few days off had me well rested. Maybe I did take off too long actually. As I got out to the gravel path, I noticed someone coming up behind me. I did pick it up slightly. I eventually got passed and it turned out to be a young girl. I was frustrated, especially because she didn't look like the elite runner type. I followed her for a little, but she stopped within 200 yards. That was a relief, knowing that she was likely just running a short distance.

While I pushed some more when the girl was coming up on me, I tried to stay at a steady pace because it was still early on. That might've worn me down slightly, but shouldn't have been too significant. I made it out to Hunting Park Avenue, although I was lumbering most of the way there and even had some side stitches.

Shortly after I turned around, I took my shirt off. That seemed to be a big help, but it was still too late. I was already tired and worn down. That is when I figured out the shirt might be a problem. Coming back, there was an ambulance and an injured rollerblader. That's always a scary sight to see. I'm not sure if he crashed with a bike or what. Luckily, I didn't pass him earlier in my run or that might've left a stronger impression too.

I spent a lot of time on the gravel, but there was some extra time on the pavement as I pushed farther in this one. The gravel is definitely a big help to my knee. By the time I hit the second portion of gravel, my knee was acting up. After about a mile, I just decided to quit.

Listening to my body during runs and training has been an area where I've really matured. In the past, I felt the need to finish every training run that I had planned for, regardless of how I felt. It was pretty clearly that a lot of today was a waste. I could've come home at a slow pace and finished the 7 mile run. I just didn't have it though and there was no point in forcing myself through the final 2 or 2.5 miles.

I'll save some energy and come back strong the rest of the week. You can't let days like this discourage you too much either. Just learn from it, then put it behind you and keep on going. I've really grown when it comes to understanding running better.

I'm not sure what the rest of the week will look like. I'm definitely getting in a speedwork session either on Wednesday or Thursday. It all depends on whether my friend Bill is going to do it with me or not. If we run together, it'll be Wednesday. If we don't, I'll go on my own on Thursday. That'll dictate my schedule for the remainder of the week too (as will the fact that I have a flat tire on my bike). I want to run short, but hard when I get out the rest of the week. Next week, I'll really taper and take it easy before the race.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Farlek

No it's not some weird sick fetish. It's a type of run.

I had been having trouble determining whether to run long distance today or do a track workout. I opted instead to do somewhat of an in between and run a fartlek. It's something I've never run before since at track practices all we ever did were track workouts. A fartlek consists of short high speeds intervals within a run.

Since I've never done these, I'm not sure if I even did it properly. I planned on running about 3 miles, so I decided to run fairly slow in between the speed intervals. I'm not really sure if I should run normal pace in between speed sessions or not. Either way, my method worked well. I was able to run easy to warmup and then when I got to the gravel path, I started with my intervals.

On the way out, I did four speed intervals between about 50 and 100 yards each. The last interval was on the pavement and a hard uphill to the grandstands along the river. I basically just picked random points to start and finish the speed portions of the run. You can get more specific and lay things out better than that, but it worked pretty well for me.

On the way back, I was able to get 3 hard intervals in before reaching the pavement again. I might've went a bit too hard on the first few intervals because I was struggling in the back half intervals. I allowed my body to determine the recovery time in between intervals. On the last one, it took me longer to recover. I developed a side stitch too.

Overall, it was an excellent workout and I hope will really help me in the 5-K in two weeks. It was very draining and also rewarding. I'll be off the next two days and Sunday I'll probably ride around during the bike race. Monday it's back to a longer run. I also want to get in some more speedwork next week, possibly on the track. After that, I'll taper during race week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Consistent Ride

Today's workout consisted of a 10 mile bike ride. It went pretty well and I kept up a very consistent pace. I haven't been on the bike all week so I didn't know how I'd fair.

The weather was perfect, not too hot or too cold. I'm now getting to the point where I rarely have to change gears. I did so only briefly on this day and even rode up the pretty steep hill towards Falls Bridge in the same gear as the rest of the ride. I shouldn't have to change gears often on my route because it's relatively flat.

Riding is always tricky because you don't feel as worn down as you actually are. I felt comfortable all ride, but was pretty sweaty when I was done with the workout. I definitely put forth some effort today.

The one thing that does concern me though is whether I'm riding correctly. I feel like I should be working harder and breathing heavier like I do when I run. Maybe that's just not the case. My legs get sore so I really can't push the pace anymore than I already do. I'm also not getting passed as often as before, but I still have the occasional rider really blowing by me. Is it really that much related to their conditioning or equipment or am I not doing things correctly? I have to start doing some reading up on riding properly. I might have to attempt interval training on the bike much like I would when running.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day. I was planning on a track workout and still might do just that. It is supposed to rain though. If I don't do that, then I'll definitely go out for a long run. I'm not going to let the rain dampen my workout plans, but not sure I want to run fast on a track in the rain. Either way, it should be a productive way to end the week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Today was another relatively short run. The temperature wasn't high, but it was very humid out. I ran from Boathouse Row to the Walnut Street turnaround on the Schuykill Banks and then back to Spring Garden Street. Overall, the route was about 2.5 miles.

I was walking over to run, I knew it was going to be a tough day due to the humidity. Once I got going and my muscles started to loosen, up I felt pretty good. I ran a nice pace and concentrated on long strides and proper breathing. The humidity was getting to me a little and then all of a sudden, the wind was gusting in my face right before the turnaround. That was part relief and part frustrating (running against the wind).

There was no wind after the turnaround and that made things tough. The one nice thing is that there are quite a few bridges that pass overhead and a couple small trees along the path. I managed to use the shade whenever possible. It made a huge difference.

I really like the end of this route. It's a short uphill that provides a good challenge at the finish. I didn't finish strong, but I don't think my pace fell off too much from the beginning. That's good too considering the humidity.

This was the most humid run I've had to date in Philly since I started running again. The only days that were worse were the two hot days in Indianapolis. The last two days of short runs weren't outstanding, but still productive days. I need to just keep focusing on day to day training or at least week to week. That's the only way I can arrive at the big goal of completing a marathon.

Tomorrow will be a bike ride (probably about 10 miles). Originally, I was thinking of doing speedwork on Thursday. That's because I thought the 5-K that I want to run is the following weekend (it's actually in two weeks). I want to work on my speed some for the 5-K, but I am more focused on increasing distances than I am on the actual race. The race is just to get a feel for where I'm at and to have a little competitive fun.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back Half

I found out today that I really need to work on improving the back half of my runs. I wasn't dreadfully slow or anything, but I didn't pick up the pace and finish strong like I should've. I only ran three miles, but I did at least have a fairly consistent pace throughout. I just need to be stronger for a longer time.

I concentrated early on to keep good strides and take deep breaths. I went through a nice pace and planned to really push it after turning around and finishing the second half of the run. After the turnaround, I passed two women in the first mile. That was a good way to pick up speed a little, but after that I really struggled to finish. I didn't have the kick that I often do at the end. Hopefully when I run a 5-K in another week, I'll actually be able to have the crowd and other runners carry me to the finish. I don't want to rely on that though.

I changed things up on this run. It was the first time that I've run on the west side of the river. I ran to the 1.5 mile marker and then turned around. There are almost no trees on the run and the sun made it a bit rough. Luckily the temperature wasn't too hot, but I still got worn down. There was a huge group of geese in the road and I just elected to run around them.

I think one of the big reasons I struggled coming back is because the route is a slight uphill one. Even so, if I'm going to get to where I want to as a runner, I need to get stronger on runs like this. Because it was a shorter run, I wasn't that enthusiastic about it. These are the runs that are going to make or break me though. I had no problems in the past getting up for long runs, it was the short ones that were my downfall. Those runs are just as important though and I really need to run them hard too.

Even though I wasn't excited about the run, I at least never considered skipping it. I also did put a lot of effort into it, I just didn't have a lot in the tank. After the run, I was very tired and took a nap. This is something I need to stop doing. It ends up keeping me up too late at night.

Tomorrow will be another short run of two or three miles. I'll following that up with a bike ride on Wednesday. Thursday will be another track workout as I prepare for a 5-K the following week. Friday and Saturday I'll be traveling to auto races again so I likely won't do anything.